UPDATED POST (Wednesday, 8-30-17)
How much and how fast flood victims get help is up to politics. There is a controversy now because the Texas delegation is crying for hurricane relief when they voted against such legislation for people on the East Coast. Oops that’s embarrassing — or should be.
Meanwhile President Trump seemed more intent on making a show of himself and commenting on the size of his audience (size matters to him) than on actually getting out to the real scene of the floods and storm damage during his Texas visit Tuesday. In his defense, though, it is a tricky thing. With all the security that is needed for a presidential visit he would have likely got in the way of evacuation and relief efforts.
There was also kind of a gossip flap over the fact that First Lady Melania Trump was wearing stiletto heels when she boarded the plane for Texas — I guess all hell broke out on Twitter about the bad taste (or not) of her all dressed to the nines to visit a disaster area. Whether originally planned or not, she disembarked in Texas wearing sneakers and I guess a slightly more subdued or tame outfit than when she got on the plane.
I’ll give her a pass on that one. Heck, if I were a rich b…. I’d dress like one too (and that is a stupid joke by the way — I don’t know her personality. It has to be better than the other half).
What follows is my original post on this with one update:
Well I don´t know exactly how much good the president’s visit to the flood area in Texas did but I would think it should have some positive effect and be good for morale of the crisis-ridden people there. He is always big on promises but he promised the response from the federal government would be ¨bigger and better¨than has ever been seen before.
Perhaps depressingly it has been reported that 80 percent of those in the flood-prone areas do not have flood insurance. But almost just a bad, there are people enrolled in the Federal Flood Insurance program who have had multiple claims over the years and that federal agency operates at a deficit, making it a great fiasco, but likely a political hot potato that few want to touch. That hardly seems like a way to run an insurance business. In fact it encourages people to build in flood-prone areas and then stick the cost to Uncle Sam when they suffer flooding that could only be expected. I mean even if this is one like never seen before it is happening in a known flood area, much of which has seen development without proper flood precautions. Wetlands are there for a purpose. You pour concrete over enough of it and you have flood problems.
Nevertheless, what is what is. Right now people need to be rescued from the flood that just keeps getting worse and they need to have shelter.
Some news commentators and reporters have tried to dig at Texas congressmen who voted against flood relief for Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast. But they in turn point out that various political interests attached expensive riders to the legislation that had nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy.
UPDATE: since the original post I have read that fact checks indicate there is a question as to how much was in the Sandy legislation that actually did not address the immediate problem or that was simply the usual pork. One would have to do some research on that one but just looking at the politics of the whole thing, the Texas delegation is in an embarrassing spot now when they ask for help but denied it to others — no matter what the facts of the relief bill for Hurricane Sandy (if they voted against it).
And that to me would be a subject for another post. Supposedly congress changed the rules some time back and got rid of earmarks in legislation that served to fund often questionable pork barrel projects in the districts of individual legislators so that they could show how they were bringing home the bacon. But legislators found a method around that by pressuring members of the bureaucracy to spend money in their districts. I for one think riders should be done away with. The defense of riders I understand is that their original intent was to fix flaws in legislation but in practice they are add-ons that have nothing to do with the original bill.
It’s a tough call though. After all you vote for your congressman to help your district.
Oh, and back to flood insurance. I think some would like to see the federal government get out of the losing business and turn it over to private enterprise. Of course then premiums would go sky high.
Maybe that is part of what is needed in order to promote more environmentally-sound development — and in the long run a lot of people could be saved from the suffering and expense.